Cementing ties, expanding trade and investments at the 14th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day
27 June 2016 — In celebration of the 14th anniversary of Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day (Dia de la Amistad entre España y Filipinas), which coincides with the 117th anniversary of the historic Siege of Baler, the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (La Cámara) and the Makati Business Club (MBC) hosted an intimate business networking luncheon held today at The Peninsula Manila, Makati City. Spain’s Ambassador to the Philippines Luis Antonio Calvo graced the event as its guest of honor.
Held every June 30th by virtue of a law passed in 2002, Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day commemorates President Emilio Aguinaldo’s commendation to the loyalty and gallantry of the surviving Spanish soldiers during the Philippine Revolution, treating them as comrades-in-arms, rather than prisoners of war. Since its proclamation, the annual event served as a celebration of the strong cultural and historical ties, and robust friendship and partnership between the Philippines and Spain.
In his keynote message, Ambassador Calvo expressed optimism at the incoming government of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, whom he recently met in Davao City. The ambassador described President-elect Duterte’s development plans as well-targeted programs and policies. The ambassador further expressed confidence that certain sectors in the Philippine economy will be further liberalized under the Duterte presidency, and highlighted the opportunities this presents to Philippine and Spanish companies.
MBC Executive Director Peter Perfecto shared that Philippines-Spain economic relations remain strong and are steadily rising due to increased bilateral trade and investment in both countries.“Spain currently ranks as the Philippines’ 10th largest source of foreign direct investments, and our trade figures with Spain are on the rise,” he said. “Currently, we are seeing increasing interest of Spanish firms to participate in public-private partnership projects, while Philippine companies are expanding their business operations in Spain, particularly in the property development and winery sectors,” he added.
Among the companies that participated in the business networking luncheon include Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc., Acciona, Ayala Corporation, Ayesa, BDO Unibank, Eptisa, Fuego Hotels, Fundacion Santiago, Gamesa, Inclam, Maybank ATR Kim Eng, Mondial Tours, OHL, Oleo Fats, Inc., RACO Trading Philippines, Solventia, and Tamoin.